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Man to be charged in abduction of a Singaporean businessman

Investigation continues into possible accomplices as details emerge of a conflict over money

Police have finished interrogating a Singaporean suspected of leading several accomplices in abducting a Singaporean businessman from Suvarnabhumi Airport on January 9. He is accused of detention, assault and robbery and will soon be formally charged with these crimes.

Provincial Police Region 2 deputy commander Pol Maj General Teerapol Jindaluang, who is heading up the investigation, said the Singaporean suspect, whose name was released to the press just as Kim, will be charged with conspiring to commit robbery, illegal detention and physical assault of the 33-year-old compatriot who owns a software and application start-up and digital currency trading business.

The victim was allegedly lured by Kim who travelled with him to Thailand from the airport in a taxi and then forced into a pick-up truck at a gas station outside Chacherngsao city. The victim was driven to a house in a wooded area where the gang detained and assaulted him in an attempt to make him transfer millions of baht in digital currency to them “to repay the debt”. The victim managed to escape on the night of January 10 and filed a police complaint, resulting in the police investigation.

Provincial Police Region 2 commander Pol Lt-General Montri Yimyaem visited Muang Chacherngsao Police Station late on the afternoon of Sunday (January 12) to follow up on the investigation. He later told reporters that a great deal of progress had been made and a police search of a suspect’s house had yielded evidence of tools prepared for the victim’s abduction.

It is suspected that the motive stemmed from a business conflict over a sum of Bt4 million, Montri said. During his ordeal, the victim wired about Bt1 million to the gang, he said. Chacherngsao police chief Pol Maj General Chakrit Sawtdee’s team was now checking related transactions and should get a result in 1-2 days.

Noting that the crime involved at least three perpetrators, Montri said police were now investigating who was actually involved and who wasn’t. He said police were also looking at a Thai-Australian-German actor in his early 20s whose Ford pick-up truck was reportedly used in picking up the victim at the gas station as he may or may not be involved in the crime.

Montri said police would gather more evidence before releasing a further statement, adding that he was confident the officers in charge would be able to arrest the culprits and retrieve the victim’s assets.

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